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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of a lighted, animated deer crossing sign

Published source details

Pojar T.M., Prosencer R.A., Reed D.F. & Woodard T.N. (1975) Effectiveness of a lighted, animated deer crossing sign. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 39, 87-91


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Install signage to warn motorists about wildlife presence Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled study in 1972–1973 in Colorado, USA (Pojar et al. 1975) found that lighted, animated deer crossing signs reduced vehicle speeds but did not reduce deer-vehicle collisions. There was an average of one collision for each 57 deer-crossings when the signs were both on and off. Average vehicle speeds were lower with the signs on, but the reduction was by <5 km/h. Three deer carcasses at the highway edge (46, 98 and 107 m before signs) reduced speeds but the reduction did not differ between when signs were on (10 km/h reduction) or off (13 km/h reduction). Two deer crossing signs were installed along a 1.6-km-long highway section (with 97 km/h limit), where deer-vehicle collisions were frequent. Signs were reflective yellow diamonds (1.8 × 1.8 m) with four silhouettes of deer in neon tubing lighting across the sign. Signs were turned on and off for alternate weekly periods during January–March over four weeks in 1972 and 11 weeks in 1973. Numbers of deer crossing the highway were estimated by nightly spotlight counts. Collisions were recorded each night and morning. Vehicle speeds were measured at 0.2, 1.1 and 2.4 km behind the sign between 18:00 and 22:00 h.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)